Black tables are notoriously tricky, especially if they are veneered, because the smallest scratch will show up. If you are the careful type, however, black is super cool and will always be so.
For buyers on the move, choose a table that is easily transportable. For those who don’t stay put, a heavy table may prove to be an annoyance, weighing you down each time you move.
Wood veneer is often a more affordable alternative to solid wood. Here a very thin layer of solid wood or material printed to look like wood is glued to a plywood or other wood core. To identify good veneer, look for tables with clearly-labeled core interiors, like kiln-dried hardwood. One way to spot cheaper veneers is to look underneath the table at the store.
Along with affordability and a timeless style, stability and construction are important to look for when inspecting tables at furniture stores. Think about how it feels to sit at one of those tables, whether it will be comfortable for long periods, and examine floor models for signs of wear. Look for nicks and scratches that may indicate how the tables would endure through serious use at home.